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Centenary Events

The Centenary Baton arrived in West Sussex at the Victory Hall in Balcombe on 6th January 2015 and visited various WIs during the week before being handed on to Hampshire on 13th January.

Baton Arriving at BalcombeJune Shows the Baton
Members with batonMembers at Victory Hall

Baton reception at Bognor and North Lodge

A "Picnic in the Park" held at Arundel Castle was attended by hundreds of members on a very wet and windy day in May.  In true WI style they celebrated 100 years of the WI and were entertained by Henry VIII and a Jazz Band.  Many members enjoyed a walk round the Earl's Garden when the rain ceased and the sun came out when it was time to go home!

A Picnic in the Park at Arundel Castle

A Centenary Festival of Flowers was held in St. Paul's Church, Chichester in July.  Here are some of the beautiful arrangements donated by various WIs.  Tea and cakes were also provided for visitors.

Centenary Flower Festival in St. Paul's Church

Mary Gwynn, author of the new WI Cookbook, talked  about her research into the writing of her book and then signed copies for members who attended the event held at Boxgrove Village Hall.  Samples of some of the recipes were available for tasting and a celebratory glass of Bucks Fizz rounded off the morning.

Collage of Book Signing day with Mary Gwynn

At the beginning of September members enjoyed a Centenary Lunch at Boxgrove Village Hall cooked by a small masterclass of members under the leadership of Maggie Borsberry.

Members enjoying Centenary Lunch

Singleton and East Dean WI was the first WI to be formed in England in November 1915.  To celebrate the Centenary of the WI they put on a wonderful exhibition in the Gridshell at the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum at Singleton on 8th September 2015.  WIs were invited to enter an exhibit depicting the year they were formed.  A walnut tree was also planted in the grounds by Jane Probitts representing the National Federation of WIs.

Collage of exhibits at Weald and Downland Museum

A Centenary Concert held at the Assembly Hall, Worthing entitled "The Sleeping Giant" illustrated the history of the WI throughout the 100 years. The Federation Centenary Choir was led by Aedan Kerney.  Also performing were Brass Fusion and Sidonie Winter.  This original piece was written by local actress Charlie Olsen.  Archive images were projected behind the choir to revive memories and enhance the drama.  A truly wonderful evening.

A collage of photos from Centenary Concert

Federation Annual Meeting

In the Centenary year we were delighted to welcome two inspiring guest speakers to our Annual Meeting held in the Assembly Hall at Worthing.  Helen Sharman spoke about her journey into space as the first British astronaut and Julie Summers, author of Jambusters, spoke about the work of the WI in the second world war and the impact on women's lives following the return of the servicemen.
We were also very pleased to welcome NFWI  Chair, Janice Langley, who is also a member of Worthing WI to join us for this special meeting.

Federation Annual Meeting 2015

Federation Annual Meeting 2015